The Donkey Sanctuary

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UK only (nationwide)

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. It is only through her amazing devotion to donkeys and hard work that the Sanctuary grew to the international charity it is today, providing sanctuary to neglected and abandoned Donkeys and mules.

However, there is still much to do. Over 50 million donkeys and mules exist in the world. Many need care and protection from a life of suffering and neglect, whilst others have a vital role to play in human survival and happiness; these gentle and affectionate creatures are at the heart of everything we do here at The Donkey Sanctuary.

By 2018 we want to be able to give a helping hand to two million donkeys each year in 40 countries, to double the number of donkeys in foster care to 3,000 and to expand our donkey assisted therapy programme in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Our Mission

To transform the quality of life for donkeys, mules and people worldwide through greater understanding, collaboration and support, and by promoting lasting, mutually life-enhancing relationships.

Our Vision

A world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.
Our work is funded entirely by donations and legacy gifts. Your kindness and generosity will help us to care and protect one of the world’s most hard working and humble creatures and help enrich so many lives... for that we are truly grateful.

Further information

To find out more about The Donkey Sanctuary, please visit our website at